Author Archives: Rabbi Kaufman

Help Nuba - A Sudan Advocacy Organization

USASSCA Logo

UNITED SUDANESE & SOUTH SUDANESE COMMUNITIES ASSOCIATION (USASSCA)

Calling on all Sudanese communities from Sudan and South Sudan, the genocide prevention activist community, and Nebraskans who are concerned about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile, South Kordofan and Darfur.

Sunday, December 16

2:30-6:30 PM

Temple Israel

7023 Cass St  

Omaha, NE 68132

You are invited to participate in the creation of the USASSCA Chapter in Omaha.

USASSCA is an umbrella organization whose mission it is to bring together Sudanese with South Sudanese Communities in the Diaspora and facilitate cooperation and well being between them. The first conference was held in Des Moines, Iowa in August. Many members of the Nebraska Sudanese and South Sudanese communities attended.  For information about the creation of USASSCA please click on this link.

Rabbi David Kaufman,  Chairman and Co-Founder of HelpNuba.org and Executive Advisor to USASSCA, and  

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USASSCA Meeting in Omaha Nebraska – December 16

USASSCA Logo

UNITED SUDANESE & SOUTH SUDANESE COMMUNITIES ASSOCIATION (USASSCA)

Calling on all Sudanese communities from Sudan and South Sudan, the genocide prevention activist community, and Nebraskans who are concerned about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile, South Kordofan and Darfur.

Sunday, December 16

2:30-6:30 PM

Temple Israel

7023 Cass St  

Omaha, NE 68132

You are invited to participate in the creation of the USASSCA Chapter in Omaha.

USASSCA is an umbrella organization whose mission it is to bring together Sudanese with South Sudanese Communities in the Diaspora and facilitate cooperation and well being between them. The first conference was held in Des Moines, Iowa in August. Many members of the Nebraska Sudanese and South Sudanese communities attended.  For information about the creation of USASSCA please click on this link.

Rabbi David Kaufman,  Chairman and Co-Founder of HelpNuba.org and Executive Advisor to USASSCA, and  Dr. Henry Lejukole, Chairman of the USASSCA Steering Comittee will join Sudanese and South Sudanese community members from Nebraska as we work to bring the communities together in Omaha with our friends from the broader community. Many thanks to Rabbi Azriel and to Temple Israel for hosting this event.

Please share this invitation with anyone you think would be interested attending.

Sudan – The Failing Economy and The Future

Over the past few months, I have written several articles dealing with the state of the Sudanese economy and implications for the ongoing conflicts in which Sudan is involved. I wrote in October about ongoing attempts to bail out the Sudanese government in direct contradiction to the sanctions imposed upon it for its genocidal actions, but I wrote as early as May and  June that the economic situation will eventually have a major impact on Sudan’s ability to maintain its military or to avoid uprisings in the streets. Economically, things have gotten much worse in the months since. Professor Eric Reeves wrote a lengthy description of the economic situation faced by the Sudanese government in which he detailed an array of major problems. I encourage you to read the full article, but wish to highlight here some of what Professor Reeves describes. He notes that:

  1. Sudan is one of the most corrupt countries in the world which makes business investment there very difficult and expensive to conduct as well as causing resentment and distrust.
  2. Sudan is one of the worst performing economies in the world. There is negative economic growth in Sudan. The economy is getting smaller at a rate of -11.2% per year.
  3. Inflation is sky-high. In October the official rate was 45.3%. Meaning that next year, everything will cost nearly one-and-a-half times what it does right now. The inflation rates for food and fuel are much worse than that. As bad as this is, Reeves notes that in September, the official rate was listed at 42% but some suggest that the actual rate was closer to 65%.
  4. The Khartoum Regime has sold off much of its oil assets in order to pay current bills.
  5. Anti-regime protests forced Khartoum to reinstate fuel subsidies that the World Monetary Fund demanded that it end so that Sudan’s currency market could stabilize.
  6. The Sudanese government is now printing money to service its increasing debt resulting in both inflation in prices and devaluing of its currency. One US Dollar now is exchanged for 6.5 Sudanese Pounds in the black market compared with 5 pounds earlier this year.
  7. Sudan has limited foreign currency reserves and thus is facing a situation in which it is forced to use its own devalued currency to purchase needed items in foreign markets including the 400,000 tons of Sugar it imports each year.
  8. Arab governments are reticent to offer financial backing to the regime. Only Qatar (and I would add, probably Iran) has offered aid. Claims to the contrary about large deposits in the Central Bank of Sudan actually diminish the regimes credibility and therefore credit with other nations and exporters.
  9. Future prospects of oil income are far more limited than they once were with most of the oil reserves located in South Sudan. In April, 2012 Sudan was actually listed as a net oil importer by the International Monetary Fund meaning that it uses more oil than it produces.
  10. Agricultural land has been poorly managed or destroyed and Sudan no longer has sufficient native agriculture to meet national food needs.
  11. A huge percentage of Sudan’s gross domestic product GDP is going to pay for military operations. These bills are being paid in Sudanese Pounds which are being devalued. Thus soldiers who are being paid the same wages each month are seeing the value of what they are being paid diminish. With 50% inflation, someone paid $3000 per year is now being paid the equivalent of $2000. That is going to promote resentment and could spell the collapse of the regime’s efforts to defend itself.
  12. Political support is weakening along with increasing resentment among those who work for and support the regime.

Professor Reeves concludes:

Despite the already acute and growing danger of complete economic implosion, the regime persists with immensely expensive and unproductive policies, including war in Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile, as well as hostile actions along the North/South border, and the supplying of renegade militia groups inside South Sudan.  For a regime that is ruthlessly survivalist, this makes no rational sense: current economic realities are diminishing the chances that the regime will survive.

The world needs to stand up to the Khartoum Regime and force it to change its ways or leave power, not only for the benefit of the greatly suffering peoples in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains, and Blue Nile, but also for the sake of Sudan itself and its population held hostage by an irrational, destructive, and hate-filled regime.

Help Nuba - A Sudan Advocacy Organization

  • December 14th
  • Washington DC
  • 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
  • Lafayette Square (Directly north of the White House)

The Khartoum regime has increased bombardment and the burning of villages and crops across the Nuba Mountains. It is unimaginable. We want to have this rally as a way to show solidarity with the people of this area and the Blue Nile state. We will also remember people from other regions of Sudan who are suffering including the people of Darfur who have never rested from the brutal Sudan regime since 2003.

The world has blinded itself from what is happening in the Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile and Sudan in general. We are calling on you as humanitarian organizations, activists, Sudanese opposition and Diaspora, pro-democracy groups and everyone who cares about Sudan to come out and tell the US government that innocent lives in Sudan must be protected. We need ideas and help with…

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Rally December 14 in Washington DC for the Sudanese People Under Attack

Join Help Nuba and USASSCA in Washington DC on December 14

Join Help Nuba and USASSCA in Washington DC on December 14

  • December 14th
  • Washington DC
  • 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
  • Lafayette Square (Directly north of the White House)

The Khartoum regime has increased bombardment and the burning of villages and crops across the Nuba Mountains. It is unimaginable. We want to have this rally as a way to show solidarity with the people of this area and the Blue Nile state. We will also remember people from other regions of Sudan who are suffering including the people of Darfur who have never rested from the brutal Sudan regime since 2003.

The world has blinded itself from what is happening in the Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile and Sudan in general. We are calling on you as humanitarian organizations, activists, Sudanese opposition and Diaspora, pro-democracy groups and everyone who cares about Sudan to come out and tell the US government that innocent lives in Sudan must be protected. We need ideas and help with graphics that will help draw attention to the rally and our call for protection. We want everybody to participate.

For more information, you can contact us at 816-200-8824.

The rally is cosponsored by Help Nuba and USASSCA, the United Sudanese And South Sudanese Communities Association, among other organizations.

Thank you very much.

Philip Tutu, Nuba Community

USASSCA Logo

Sudan, Iran, and Gaza

There is now a full blown alliance between Iran, Sudan, and Hamas.  Hamas leaders have publicly thanked Iran in recent days and Sudan’s Bashir has long been a friend of the Iranian Regime. None of this should be surprising. This was clear  in March of 2009 when:

A delegation of senior Middle Eastern leaders has travelled to Sudan to express international support for Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese president, who is accused of war crimes in Darfur. Officials from Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah joined Syria’s parliament speaker and the leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group for talks with al-Bashir in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital.

Sudan continues to host Iranian weapons shipments from Iran destined to reach Gaza.  The Times of Israel reports that

Israeli intelligence sources believe that a cargo, loaded a week ago in Bandar Abbas, Iran, would be shipped to Sudan and from there smuggled over land to Gaza. According to the report, the cargo may include Fajr-5 rockets of the likes already fired by Hamas during the recent conflict, and whose stocks were reportedly depleted by Israeli bombings. Also possibly included: components of Shahab-3 ballistic missiles, which could be stationed in Sudan and used as a direct threat to Israel.

In other words, Iran is planning on involving Sudan in the next conflict with Israel and firing missiles from Sudan at Israel.

“With a lot of effort, Iran has skillfully built a strategic arm pointing at Israel from the south,” an Israeli source was quoted as saying.

Not that sanity has regularly prevailed in the Middle East, but it would seem that this decision by Sudan runs the risk of promoting significant Israeli and American military involvement in Sudan and military cooperation with South Sudan. It functionally turns the Sudan Revolutionary Forces and the South Sudanese into full blown allies of Israel and America in their conflict with Iran, merging the conflicts into one larger one and escalating the strategic importance of events in Sudan well beyond the level of humanitarian concerns which are generally not highly prioritized.

In other news, Sudan is planning to relocate the Yarmouk Weapons Factory which was recently destroyed in what appears to have been an Israeli airstrike on October 24 to a place “outside of the capital.”

It would seem highly likely at this point that future Israeli military action in Sudanese territory is a virtual certainty, but also that there will be an increasing flow of weaponry and funds from Iran to the Khartoum Regime, enabling it to increase its military operations in the border regions against both the Sudan Revolutionary Forces and South Sudan itself.

We may already be seeing the first stages of this change with recent Sudan Armed Forces strikes crossing the border of Bahr El Ghazal in South Sudan and with attacks against multiple villages in the Nuba Mountains in recent days. The reports from the SPLM-North are heartbreaking, among them that:

On November 16, the NCP forces and its militia lit up the fire in the dry bush and crops around the villages of, Tafrang, Banat, Kumra, Alsamaha, Katraya Almak, Safora, Najar Alhabel, Wadelgeel, Hellat Mohamed Rasheed, Umsediana, Alban Jadeed, Alnugra, and Khor Basheer. The residents of these villages tried to put out the fire, but the NCP forces and its militias forbid them from doing so by force of weapons. The fire burned down the houses and destroyed the crops and garden fields. The fire continued burning until for days.

Since then numerous villages have been bombed by the Khartoum Regime with all targets being civilian. It appears that the Khartoum Regime feels emboldened by its newly strengthened alliance with Iran and we must fear that the level of attacks will continue if not increase in the weeks ahead without outside intercession.

The situation for the peoples of the Nuba Mountains is worsening and the threat of major conflict between Sudan and South Sudan is increasing rapidly.

USASSCA Atlanta Chapter is Created

Salaam Alekum and Greetings to you all from Des Moines, IA.

On behalf of USASSCA Steering Committee and on my own behalf, I wish to congratulate you all for coming together today to form the first chapter of the Sudanese and South Sudanese Community Association in the United States of America.

We were blessed to have some of you attend the event in Des Moines, IA in August in which USASSCA was founded and we are glad that you have stepped up to form your own local USASSCA Chapter in Atlanta, Georgia.

We hope and believe others will soon follow your lead and many more USASSCA chapters will be formed in various States around the country.

Our people in Sudan and South Sudan have endured oppression and untold suffering for a long time and they need our help.

Today, indiscriminate killings, torture, rape, and destruction of properties continue unabated in the Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile, and Darfur. Thousands of people are displaced and live under squalid conditions in caves or refugee camps and are being denied humanitarian assistance.

The tactic of divide to conquer has long been used to keep our people apart and powerless. It is time that we stand up together to be a voice for our oppressed people in their quest for peace, freedom, equality and justice. And we owe it to ourselves and humanity to prevent genocide in the Sudan.

It is also in our interest that peace, good governance and economic progress is sustained in the Republic South Sudan for the mutual benefit of our people both in the South and North Sudan.

Let us appreciate and stand together with our American friends and human rights advocates in their tireless effort and endeavors to support our people.

In the words Henry Ford, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success”.

Thank you.

-Henry Lejukole, Chairman of the USASSCA Steering Committee

USASSCA Atlanta Chapter is Born

Salaam Alekum and Greetings to you all from Des Moines, IA.

On behalf of USASSCA Steering Committee and on my own behalf, I wish to congratulate you all for coming together today to form the first chapter of the Sudanese and South Sudanese Community Association in the United States of America.

We were blessed to have some of you attend the event in Des Moines, IA in August in which USASSCA was founded and we are glad that you have stepped up to form your own local USASSCA Chapter in Atlanta, Georgia.

We hope and believe others will soon follow your lead and many more USASSCA chapters will be formed in various States around the country.

Our people in Sudan and South Sudan have endured oppression and untold suffering for a long time and they need our help.

Today, indiscriminate killings, torture, rape, and destruction of properties continue unabated in the Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile, and Darfur. Thousands of people are displaced and live under squalid conditions in caves or refugee camps and are being denied humanitarian assistance.

The tactic of divide to conquer has long been used to keep our people apart and powerless. It is time that we stand up together to be a voice for our oppressed people in their quest for peace, freedom, equality and justice. And we owe it to ourselves and humanity to prevent genocide in the Sudan.

It is also in our interest that peace, good governance and economic progress is sustained in the Republic South Sudan for the mutual benefit of our people both in the South and North Sudan.

Let us appreciate and stand together with our American friends and human rights advocates in their tireless effort and endeavors to support our people.

In the words Henry Ford, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success”.

Thank you.

-Henry Lejukole, Chairman of the USASSCA Steering Committee

An Urgent Plea from the Nuba Mountains

November 5, 2012

Dear Leaders of the International Community,

We write to you from inside the Nuba Mountains and on behalf of the men, women and children who have waited in vain for your help. Since June 2011, we have been under constant attack by the Bashir regime. Hundreds of bombs have dropped on us, and missiles as well as attacks by soldiers and militia are a constant threat. In the last two weeks, bombardment by the Khartoum regime has increased intensively. Since Friday, October the 26th, the bombardment has become more brutal and covered more than a dozen of our villages.

Many people have been killed, and livestock and several houses and fields of crops have been burned and destroyed. The intense bombing has begun again this week and it is a daily activity in the area. As it is well known to you, we do not have access to food, medicine, healthcare and other basic necessities. We look around at what is left of our homes and see our family and friends weak from hunger and disease. Everywhere we look, we see children, the elderly and other vulnerable people lying on the ground helpless. The number of people dying from starvation and disease is disturbing and increasing. It is very hard for us to explain to our children what is happening when they ask us, “Does anyone in the world know what we are going through?

Why is it that no one cares about us?”

For 17 months, we have been hearing you talk about us. We’ve heard you say that our situation is critical and that you are gravely
concerned; however, we have almost given up hope that your words mean anything. We are aware of UN Security Council Resolution 2046 and the work done by the UN in coordination with the African Union and League of Arab States to secure a ceasefire and humanitarian aid for our area (Nuba Mountains) and Blue Nile. We have heard about the latest AUPSC Communiqué dated October 24, 2012 that we understand will inform your actions on our behalf, and we want you to understand what we have heard and how it makes us feel. Less than 10% of the communiqué addresses what has been described as the worst humanitarian crisis in Africa. The communiqué spells out the priorities of the AU (and therefore the UN), and we are sad to learn that saving our lives – urgently addressing a critical humanitarian crisis – is clearly not a priority.

While UNSC Resolution 2046 demands an end to aerial bombardments and all hostilities, the AUPSC Communiqué fails to acknowledge the conditions we are forced to endure on a daily basis and it fails to acknowledge who is responsible for imposing those conditions on us. The Communiqué does, however, recognize the “difficult circumstances” faced by Bashir and commends him for his courage and statesmanship in reaching agreements with South Sudan and regarding Abyei. This is very difficult for us to understand. We do not understand why a leader who fails to implement existing agreements and therefore requires additional intervention by the international community in order to avoid a war that he would start should be commended. If Bashir is facing difficult circumstances, they are the result of his own making and frankly, we would like him to be in our situation and just test what we are going through for 17 months in the Nuba Mountains. If Bashir lived in the Nuba Mountains, he would understand the meaning of “difficult circumstances.”
We also do not understand why Bashir should be rewarded with financial assistance, debt relief and the lifting of sanctions as outlined in the Communiqué. As stated earlier, Bashir bombed our villages as he was signing agreements. Unlike UNSC Resolution 2046, the Communiqué fails to provide deadlines or outline consequences if Bashir continues to attack us and continues to block humanitarian access. The Communiqué does urge the AUHIP to “undertake a lessons-learnt exercise” and so we respectfully submit the observation based on our own experience and based on Bashir’s behavior since UNSC Resolution 2046 was put into place on May 2, 2012, that Bashir does not comply with agreements. The Communiqué does include a November 10, 2012 deadline for convening negotiations
regarding political negotiations between Bashir and the SPLM-North based on the June 28, 2011 Framework Agreement, but given the
complexity of political negotiations that should encompass the entire country, this deadline will have no impact on our desperate situation.

Deadlines and conditions related to access for humanitarian aid must be separate from the political process and must be prioritized above all else.

While we appreciate your commitment to remain “actively seized on the matter”, we are worried – based on our experience – that your commitment will not save our lives and the lives of our children who have suffered long enough. Our question remains unanswered, why doesn’t anyone care about us? We have a right to be protected from a brutal government and to be rescued from genocide. We have a right to have access to food and medicine like everyone else in the world.

Innocent lives are being taken day and night including children, women, and the elderly right before our eyes and the world’s silence
is unbelievable.

We have much to offer our country, the continent and the world. The Nuba Mountains are beautiful and we are remarkable people. We enjoyed six years of peace after the signing of the CPA, an agreement that was the result of strong Sudanese, African and international leadership. That same combined level of leadership is required today. We welcome the appointment of Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma as the Chairperson of the African Union Commission and we urge her to visit us this month with a shipment of food and medicine.

Thank you for considering our concerns and we hope you will stand on our behalf and do everything possible – even if Bashir does not allow it – to deliver urgently needed humanitarian aid to our areas for our people.

Best regards,

1- Stephevanos Jaralnabi Angalo, Omdorain Locality
2- Alamin Kharif Bari, Delami Locality
3- Jibreel Ismail, Alboram Locality
4- Zaki Khalifa Tawor, Kadugli Locality
5- Ahamed Abaala, Haiban Locality
6- Khamis Soba, Deleng Locality
7- Salieh Alias dalum, Lagawa Locality
8- Nur Aldeen Jumma Almahadi, Abujabiha Locality
9- Adam Alnugra Ahamed, Talodi Locality

Report of Summary Executions in Liri, Sudan

Sources in the region have brought to the attention of Help Nuba that following clashes between the SPLA-North and the Sudan Armed Forces in the area of Liri in South Kordofan, Sudan that the Governor of that province, Ahmed Harun, who is already a wanted criminal for his actions during the genocide in Darfur, arrested and summarily executed sixteen civilians from the Nuba Liri tribe, including the paramount chief of the Liri Nuba, Elmak/Adam Juju.

The sixteen victims are:

1- Elmak/ Adam Juju

2- Abdalla Juju – Brother of the Mak

3- Jalal Balola

4- Mohammed Akol

5- Mohammed Sileman

6- Elfaki Kallo

7- Mater Abbas

8- Jallab Elfaki

9- Adam Hasan

10- Mohammed Tiya Elmaban

11- Adam Tago

12- Saliim Kanno Elmahdi

13- Ali Dawudi

14- Eltayib Kunda Abu Rafas

15- Ahmed Musa

16- Marghani Hasan

 

Also two SPLA Soldiers who were captured last July are said to have been executed last week while in detention.

They are:

1- Pvt. Adam Hammad

2- Pvt. Mukhtar Korti